Winter Solstice – Burn It Down

Winter Solstice – Burn It Down December 21, 2017

Detail from the Witch Essence series painting "Smoke" by the author
Detail from the Witch Essence series painting “Smoke” by the author

I knew the Solstice was coming.  I tried to think of an inspiring post in advance, but as I’ve said before here, I’m not exactly a Sabbat-oriented Witch.  As I got ready for bed last night though…the following words came to mind.  I guess it’s inspirational? But not in your beautiful, quiet winter night sort of way.

So we have reached the shortest day, the longest night.  We’re prepared to celebrate the returning of the light.

But there’s a hitch in this myth for the modern day.  There’s two catches we need to be aware of:

1) The dark isn’t necessarily the thing we need to be afraid of.
2) We’re responsible for bringing in the light.

Enter the Dark
Society has spent the better part of the last several thousand years telling us to be afraid of the dark.  Whispered in our ears: “There are things in the dark that want to hurt you, eat you, or steal your soul.  Stay close to the light and you’ll be safe. Stick with us and we’ll protect you.”

Lies. All lies. Designed to pull you closer to false light, to make you dependent on it, on them.  They have taught us to fear the darkness, so they could use us, hurt us, steal our essence, and cut the threads to our roots, ourselves, the earth, the world. Whole elections won and governments built on the backs of flaming such fears, all the while tearing us down to our bones in broad manufactured light.  Wars called protection, abuse labeled as care, prisons masquerading as freedom and justice. 

The dark is where we came from.  In the shadows lay the threads that connect us to the mysteries of our very nature; that which makes us wild, divine, and human. Within the embrace of the darkness, we are reminded of who we were, and we are shown true light. The Witch has always known there is wisdom and safety in the darkness.

"Smoke" by Laura Tempest Zakroff
“Smoke” by Laura Tempest Zakroff

Bring the Light
Now is not the time to passively expect the light to return – we can no longer afford to wait or expect others to do it. To bring real illumination, we must go into the darkness and fetch it. We must remember what the animals know and what the trees talk about it.  It’s time to recall how to take care of the diverse and intertwined tribe of humanity, from the ground up – not from the tower down.  Sparks are revealed in the tenderly smoking embers of justice. Out of the darkness, we are reborn with the fierce fire within our hearts to torch the lies, reduce straw goats to ash – so we may build anew.

Once again, we must learn to find our way in the dark, guided by the true stars within.  We can summon the courage to burn it down.

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